INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTIONS Sec. 3. When civil action may proceed independently.

– In the cases provided in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the independent civil action may be brought by the offended party. It shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. In no case, however, may the offended party recover damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal action. WHAT ARE THE INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTIONS? > The independent civil actions are those provided in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code > They may proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence > This is the principle of independent civil actions—it can proceed independently from the criminal action. Nonetheless, the offended party may not have double recovery. The offended party only gets the bigger award.

Independent Civil Action I. Independent Civil Action Art. 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony, such civil action may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter. Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages: In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the defendant’s act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and mat be proved by a preponderance of evidence. The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may also be adjudicated. The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute.

and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily responsible therefor. entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action. is obliged to pay for the damage done. fraud. In no case. In cases of defamation. and physical injuries a civil action for damages. the latter shall be suspended in whatever state it may be found before judgment . Whoever by any act or omission causes damage or injury to another. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution. – After the criminal action has been commenced. When a member of a city or municipal police force refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of danger to life or property. if there is no prexisting contractual relation between the parties shall be known as Quasi Delict and shall be governed by the provisions of this chapter. 2. When civil action may proceeded independently . SUSPENSION OF CIVIL ACTION Details Category: Criminal Procedure SUSPENSION OF CIVIL ACTION Sec. may the offended party recover damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal action. Such fault or negligence.Art. It shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. the separate civil action arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final judgment has been entered in the criminal action. there being fault or negligence. 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. however. If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action has already been instituted. When separate civil action is suspended. and a preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such action. such peace officer shall be primarily liable for damages. and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. may be brought by the injured party. Art. the independent civil action may be brought by the offended party. — In the cases provided for in Articles 32. 33. The civil action herein recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings. 34. Rule 111 Rules of Court Section 3. 33. Art 2176.

> Nonetheless. Nevertheless. the civil action based on delict shall be deemed extinguished if there is a finding in a final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil action. WHEN IS THE SEPARATE CIVIL ACTION SUSPENDED? > After the criminal action has been commenced. However. the latter shall be suspended in whatever state it may be found before judgment on the merits. The consolidated criminal and civil actions shall be tried and decided jointly. the separate civil action arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final judgment has been entered in the criminal action. The suspension shall last until final judgment is rendered in the criminal action. the civil action may be consolidate with the criminal action at any time before judgment on the merits upon motion of the offended party with the court trying the criminal action > The evidence presented at the civil action shall be deemed reproduced in the criminal action without prejudice to the right of the prosecution to cross-examine the . be consolidated with the criminal action in the court trying the criminal action. the running period of prescription of the civil action which cannot be instituted separately or whose proceeding has been suspended shall be tolled. upon motion of the offended party. In case of consolidation. > If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action has already been instituted.on the merits. the evidence already adduced in the civil action shall be deemed automatically reproduced in the criminal action without prejudice to the right of the prosecution to cross-examine the witness presented by the offended party in the criminal case and of the parties to present additional evidence. The suspension shall last until final judgment is rendered in the criminal action. During the pendency of the criminal action. before judgment on the merits rendered in the civil action. the same may.

ing the fi nal determination of the former. the resolution of which question is a logical antecedent of the issues involved in said case and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal. only the civil action arising from the crime under Article 100 of the RPC is suspended > The independent civil actions are not suspended and may continue even if the criminal action has been instituted > However. CA. it must appear not only that the civil case involves the same . Adelo Aragon (L-5930. (See Carlos v. Jurisdiction to try said question must be lodged in another tribunal.cause a decision therein is vital to the judgment in the criminal case. 1954). In the case of People v.witness presented by the offended party in the criminal case and of the parties to present additional evidence. for a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the suspension of the latter pend. the Supreme Court defi ned it as one which arises in a case. Indeed. 79 SCAD 582 [1997]). the offended party may not recover twice from the same act > He should only get the bigger award The consolidated criminal actions shall be tried and Defi nition of a ‘Prejudicial Question’ A prejudicial question is one which must be decided fi rst before a criminal action may be instituted or may proceed be. decided jointly > ONLY EXCEPTION: a prejudicial question arising in a previously filed civil action should be resolved first ARE THE INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTIONS ALSO DEEMED SUSPENDED WITH THE FILING OF THE CRIMINAL ACTION? > No. 17. this is the second element. 36 CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES 226 be determinative of the case before the Court. this is the fi rst element. Feb. The prejudicial question must Art.

1961).. et al. v. hence. . the validity of the fi rst marriage is a prejudicial question.facts upon which the criminal prosecution would be based. (Mendiola. and the right to decide such validity is vested in another tribunal. 1954). Feb. (People v. the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined. In an action for bigamy. Adelo Aragon. 17. for example. Macadaeg. L-5930. L-16874. Feb. et al. if the accused claims that the fi rst marriage is null and void. 27. the civil action for nullity must fi rst be decided before the action for bigamy can proceed. but also that in the resolution of the issues raised in said civil action.

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